Our Program


More Than a Scholarship


Guardian Scholars is “More Than a Scholarship, We’re a Family Making Dreams Come True” for deserving and economically challenged youth in Eagle County, providing financial support, life coaching and caring emotional support for each student Scholar.


The Guardian Scholars Program is a comprehensive student empowerment model which identifies ambitious, capable high school students who are challenged to afford a college education. Guardian Scholars offers significant financial leverage, maximizing institutional and philanthropic resources to enable student Scholars to earn an undergraduate college degree. At the same time, the program provides critical educational, interpersonal and professional development skills throughout the college experience.

In the Vail Valley, the Guardian Scholars program supports first generation and underserved youth, who have graduated from high school in Eagle County, Colorado.  Scholarship recipients have demonstrated financial need, typically qualifying for full or substantial Federal and State Student Financial Aid. Often the first in their family to attend college, this young adult population is forced to make the difficult transition to college life without traditional family support. In the absence of an added support system, they would typically experience significant financial and emotional hardship in their efforts to pursue higher education.

Guardian Scholars provides far more than simply a financial scholarship. The Family approach provides critically important emotional support and guidance for student Scholars to “Make Dreams Come True.” Guardian Scholars has pioneered a warm and distinctive working partnership with educational institutions including the Eagle County School District, Colorado Mesa University and Colorado Mountain College. Creative collaboration between these entities and over 40 Guardian Angel donors creates a very cost effective fiscal and interpersonal student support system with outstanding results.  Nationally, only 11% of low income, first generation youth will graduate college within six years; many drop out with substantial student loans, which remain unpaid and contribute to the enormous student debt load in our country. Guardian Scholars’ graduation rate is over 85%. Additionally, Scholars graduate with minimal or no debt, empowering them to launch their professional lives unencumbered by the financial burden of college loans.